A Hope In The Unseen Short Paper

Submitted By ck1189
Words: 618
Pages: 3

Connor Kinney
November 11, 2013

A Hope in the Unseen Paper

Cedric Jennings, from A Hope in the Unseen, is an African American male who struggles with his personal identity relating to his education and future because of his own background and where he comes from. Throughout the novel we see a progression of where he ranks in the social stratification of American culture. Many aspects of Cedric’s life influence his progression within this system. In the beginning of the novel we see Cedric as a lower class citizen living a poor life. His mother, Barbara, can barely get by paying her rent and bills as well as donating to the church they attend. Cedric is subjected to the harsh norms of the poverty driven area they live in like taking part in drugs, sex, and alcohol, but is able to stay away. His father is off and on serving prison sentences for drugs. Even with all of these obstacles that steer most of the students who attend their local, notorious school in the wrong direction, Cedric maintains a drive for leading a better life by achieving in school and taking extraordinary opportunities like a summer MIT program. But we still see Cedric placed in this idea of lower class relative to the social stratification because of his race and the “ghetto” he comes from. Because of the majority of his surroundings, it becomes difficult for him to overcome his spot in the American social stratification system. Cedric’s spot in this system begins to evolve and change as he goes through the MIT program and college at Brown University. During the MIT program we see him take a step forward, leaving his old life in the “ghetto” behind when he starts to interact with the other students. As he goes through college we learn more and realize that he struggles to get out of this identity of a black man from the “ghetto” because he personally cannot let it go. This is seen through the way he has trouble integrating with other students like Zayd at times and his roommate Rob. We begin to see this is truly his last step to overcoming his spot in the social class he is considered a part of. It is clear that he wants to leave this part of his life behind, by the fact that he hated his visit back to his home and talks less